Is peace getting slowly distant? According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an arms watchdog based in Sweden, military expenditure around the globe went up to $1.739 trillion in 2017, which is 1.1 per cent more than that in 2016, Associated Press reported. The 52-year-old independent think tank, partially funded by the Swedish government, which works on global security and arms control came out with its report on Wednesday, May 2.
According to SIPRI, China has been one of the leaders of this trend, keeping up with its trend set for more than two decades now while the United States' military spending remained constant for the second consecutive year; Russia on the other hand, showed a decline in its military spending since 1998 - the report said.
SIPRI chairman Jan Eliasson, while presenting the report, expressed concern over the growing armament and said such trend undermined the quest for peaceful solutions for conflicts around the globe, the report added.
Top 5: US, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India
SIPR said the five countries that spent the most on military in 2017 were the US, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India. Together, they made up 60 per cent of the total trade, AP said.
SIPRI said while China's spending increased by $228 billion or 5.6 per cent, India too came close in terms of growth percentage (5.5 per cent) touching a figure of $63.9 billion - compared to 2016.
Researchers at SIPRI also said that the epicentre of global military spending was shifting away from the Euro-Atlantic region and the rise in the global trend in military expenditure was caused by a considerable growth in spending my countries like China, India and Saudi Arabia.
SPRI also said that military expenditure in Asia and Oceania regions witnessed a growth for 29th successive year.
It said China's share of global military expenditure ion 2017 was 13 per cent, more than double of what it was in 2008 (5.8 per cent), AP added. On Russia's downslide in the list, SIPRI said the country's economic problems saw it restricting its military budget.
Russia hasn't increased military expenses but Nato has
But though Russia's own spending on military has reduced, its threat has seen several European countries who are members of the Nato having increased their military spending. The military group's total military spending in 2017 was $900 billion which is 52 per cent of the total global spending, it said.
The announcement in the rise of the military expenditure by China and India comes at a time when both the Asian neighbours reset their disturbed relationships and vowed to work on bettering the trust factor on the border where their armies have often bumped into each other, raising the tension - the pinnacle of which came at Doklam Plateau in mid-2017.
Pakistan also increased its defence budget for the 2018-19 fiscal by nearly 20 per cent reiterating its India-centric defence policy.